Yesterday we went over some of the DO’s of traveling, so today we’re going over some of the DON’Ts of traveling.
1. Don’t pay in your currency when given the option by a merchant.
In a rather horrible turn of events, many foreign merchants will now give you the option of paying in your home currency. Sounds great, right? NOT SO FAST.
Not only will merchants give you a crappy exchange rate so they can make a little more off your purchase, but it’s also possible that your credit card company will charge you as well. Even if you have a card with no foreign transaction fee.
2. Don’t get suckered in by tuk tuk and tour scams.
Bangkok is notorious for the tuk tuk scam. Beijing is notorious for the tour scam. Both work similarly – you work out a cheap rate ahead of time, but are then driven to other stops before you reach your destination.
In the case of the Bangkok tuk tuks this is usually a jewelry store where the tuk tuk driver receives free gas in exchange. In the case of the Chinese tour bus it’s not uncommon to be brought to an Eastern Medicine building where doctors will diagnose you with all sorts of illnesses. Fortunately for you they can be cured with herbs and medicines that they keep on premises, of course.
3. Don’t give money to Asian monks.
A common(er) scam in South East Asia. The scammer is dressed as a monk asking for money for some cause or another. The thing is… monks don’t ask for money. Politely decline and move on.